Amateur treasure hunter discovers largest gold nugget in Western Hemisphere with metal detector in the Sonoran Desert, known as the "Boot of Cortez," which sold for $1,553,500 at auction in 2008.
The Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon silver and gold metalwork in the world, was discovered by a British metal detectorist in Staffordshire in 2009 and contained more than 4,000 objects including war objects such as swords and helmets.
Amateur metal detectorists in County Tipperary discovered the Derrynaflan Chalice and other treasures in the "Derrynaflan Hoard," leading to changes in Ireland's antiquities laws.
Retired businessman Derek McLennan discovered the Galloway Hoard in Scotland in 2014, containing 100 Viking artifacts believed to have been buried around A.D. 900, making it the greatest hoard of Viking artifacts in the history of the UK.
A solid-gold chalice worth over $1 million was discovered by a 20-year-old metal detectorist and treasure diver named Mike DeMar near the wreckage of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita off the coast of Florida in 2008.
In 2001, a retired electrician named Cliff Bradshaw discovered the Ringlemere gold cup, a Bronze-Age artifact known as the Rillaton cup, while scanning a wheat field in East Kent with his metal detector.
A metal detector enthusiast in England discovered a tiny golden figurine of a king that he believes was once part of a crown worn by King Henry VIII and could be worth more than £2 million pounds.
Milly Hardwick, aged 13, discovered a hoard of Bronze-Age ax heads on her third metal-detecting trip near Royston, England in 2021, unearthing 65 objects believed to be some of England's earliest metal weapons, dating back to 2300 B.C. A follow-up expedition found over 135 objects nearby.